Tag Archives: lexicon

Sparring With Blushes

“My English is chaste, and all licentious passages are left in the obscurity of a learned language.” (Edward Gibbon) In the Middle Ages, several women poets of Arab Spain (al-Andalus) were known for their erotic and satiric verses composed with … Continue reading

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How Are Posh Men Educated?

…The vanities of posh men… centre on an ancient system that trains a narrow caste of people to run our affairs…. Ever questing to penetrate British lingo, I wobble over “public” versus “private” education in the kingdom’s parlance. In my … Continue reading

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Base Camp

They came in all sorts of camouflage, in animal pelts and flak jackets, in tactical gear and even a sphagnum-covered ghillie suit. When you leave the totems of your usual identity behind you free yourself from the laws that govern … Continue reading

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‘The Flag Is Also Waving You’

Someone who studies flags is a “vexillologist.” There’s a North American Vexillological Association for persons devoted to this study. In the 18th and 19th centuries, a flag was not so much a symbol as a practical way to tell from … Continue reading

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Beethovian

If there’s something that can be called a Beethovian gravitas assumable by a sculptor who is female, artist Maggi Hambling is a contender. That’s by way of an admiring aside to the topic of this article. “Luxuriantly bushed,” “obligingly passive,” … Continue reading

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Pronounce This!

Wrangling among logocrats in the Anglo-Empyrean over how to pronounce something in the common language that separates us is good for a brief detox from the trumpical pandemia. In August a Twitter-turd toss from Down Under landed on National Public … Continue reading

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Fewer Miracles, Less Time

Beatification occurs when the Pope declares a dead person to be in a state of bliss. It permits public veneration and is the first step towards canonization. Canonization occurs when the Roman Catholic Church officially admits a dead person into … Continue reading

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Cat of Many Names

This article reports a sad event, the snatching of a family dog by a mountain lion. That misfortune notwithstanding, it solves a longstanding puzzle for me by clarifying that mountain lions, pumas, cougars, panthers, and catamounts are the same animal, … Continue reading

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The Squat

I learned the term “typosquatting” today. Shortly after 2:30 a.m. on October 30, 2020, Twump tweeted the hashtag “#BidenCrimeFamiily” with no other context or link. That extra “i” circumvented Twitter’s efforts to hide the hashtag in search results. Called #typosquatting, … Continue reading

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Prosodic Moments in Poeisis

In English, the difficulty of perceiving even brief isosyllabic lines as rhythmically equivalent is aggravated by the inordinate power of stressed syllables… The mashup of mystification about versifying that’s available online furnishes what I call Prosodic Moments — when phraseology … Continue reading

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